Saturday, July 7, 2007

Most popular recipe on my web site!

Can you guess what it is? Week after week after week, my recipe for Tabouli is the most popular stop on my web site (after my home page). In fact the search term "tabouli" is the most common search term (on both google and yahoo) that people use to find my web site. Surprisingly to me, far more common than the terms "cancer nutrition" or some variation of those words.

So since we finally have fresh garden grown tomatoes at our farmers' market, it is time to start making my #1 all-time favorite food again! The first time my husband and I made it, we could not stop ourselves and ate the entire batch, which the recipe said was enough for 6! Here it is:


Tabouli Salad (adapted from the original place I found the recipe over 30 years ago, Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe)

The quickest way to get started eating this phytochemical-packed traditional Lebanese dish is buy some at a deli. My regular grocery store carries Tabouli pre-packaged in a little plastic tub. It's great to pick up to eat when traveling. Anyhow, if I have time, I "doctor it up" after I take it home by adding more diced tomatoes, sliced green onions with tops, and pre-cooked lentils or garbanzo beans. Most of the time there is enough dressing, but if not, just add another dash of lemon juice and olive oil.

Now for making the recipe from scratch (truly the best).

1 1/2 cups dry bulgar (buy dry bulgar is in the health food section of your grocery store or at a natural foods store)
4 cups boiling water
1 cup cooked, drained beans - garbanzo, lentil, or small white beans (can cook from scratch or use canned, pre-cooked beans from your pantry shelf)
2 cups fresh parsley - minced (can use your blender or food processor for this, or a chef's knife also works great ). In the summer, I use half parsley and half fresh mint. Don't worry about the amount - more is better here.
2 - 3 bunches green onions - sliced, both white and green parts
3 - 4 medium tomatoes, chopped (in the off-season, I spend the money on the vine-ripened tomatoes for the best flavor)
1/2 cup or more fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (this is the first recipe I ever bought olive oil for)
1 tsp. salt

Pour the boiling water over the dry bulgar in a medium to large bowl and let sit ~1-2 hours until water is absorbed. Drain very well using a colander. Bulgar will now be light and fluffy.
Once bulgar is done, mix all the ingredients together. Chill for several hours or overnight.
Beautiful to look at and absolutely delicious to eat! Enjoy :-)

I really don't think it is possible to improve my Tabouli recipe, but here are two modifications that add a twist without taking anything away: Feel free to use either or both adjustments.

* Use the whole grain quinoa instead of bulgur (I use quinoa by Bob's Red Mill, which is already washed and ready to cook).
* Use lemon balm in place of regular mint. Be careful if you grow this in your garden as it spreads like crazy, just like the other mints.

You may click on the title of this post to go to the page on my web site where you can easily print this recipe. Yum, yum!

Off to watch the remaining minutes of the women's finals at Wimbeldon (some day I'll get there to watch in person!).
Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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